A minor league baseball team in Binghamton is hoping to capture some of that Bills Mafia spirit.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies, of the Double A Eastern League, have announced Tailgate Night with the Mafia for July 18.
The event, which is not affiliated with the Bills, is expected to feature former Bills star Darryl Talley, who will sign autographs and throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and a cavalcade of stars from Bills fandom: Pizza Pete, Pinto Ron, Bills Vader, Bills Stormtrooper, Bills Dad, Bills Elvis, Hannabill Lecter, Bills Gorilla Bob and Captain Buffalo, among others.
Del Reid, of 26Shirts and a Bills Mafia co-founder, is designing the uniforms to be worn by the Binghamton players. The jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to a charity of Reid’s choice.
Team officials also have reached out to Veronica Borjon, the longtime partner of Ezra “Pancho Billa” Castro, in hopes that she can attend and that the event could help raise money for Pancho Packs, backpacks for kids stuffed with school supplies.
“This is a community night, bringing that Bills Mafia and that fan base atmosphere to Binghamton,” said Lorin Williams, the director of marketing and promotions for the Rumble Ponies. “The Bills Mafia is out there at three in the morning at the airport after they just lost a game. The fans going to Texas in the thousands and all over in the thousands can be appreciated by all sports fans. Everybody wants to be part of the Mafia for the sportsmanship or support they show.”
Williams, a Syracuse native, came up with the idea when the Rumble Ponies were looking for promotional ideas for the 2020 season.
“I am a super-big Bills fan,” she said. “I’ve been going to games since before I was born. My dad has season tickets, and the whole nine yards.”
The idea surged on social media after it was announced and the team continues to field inquiries from Bills fans interested in making the trip.
“It’s snowballed into this huge event,” Williams said. “People have been reaching out to me on social media seeing how they can be involved. They want to show their pride for the event and show Binghamton some Buffalove for sure. … This is going to be the place to be on July 18.”
The team has developed a Mafia ticket package that includes a ticket, a jersey, a picnic, a beverage and a bobblehead. The price includes a donation to Pancho Packs.
“We’re working with Veronica to get that going,” Williams said. “We want to bring awareness to that organization and who he was and what he stood for. When you think of the Bills Mafia, you think of him.”
Game tickets for all Rumbles Ponies games are on sale at Bingrp.com. The Mafia package is expected to go on sale next week, Williams said, and also will include information with the team’s hotel partner about accommodations.
She said Reid is also in the process of designing the jersey that will be part of the package.
As for the game jerseys, “I’ve seen the design those are going to be really something special,” she said. “Those are going to be something any Bills fan or any sports fan wants.”
“This is definitely something different,” Reid said. “I’m looking forward to it.”